Wotta Lotta Litter…

Following on from Sunday’s Dig Day, I can report that The Allotment is absolutely devoid of litter. Not a trace. Not so much as a Werther’s wrapper or an EPO syringe. Rien. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Sadly, however, the same cannot be said of the rest of Longleat forest, and this has become something of a bugbear of mine over recent weeks. For me, a ride is partially spoiled when I’m nipping gazelle-like [don’t laugh] through some sinewy singletrack deep in the undergrowth only to find a discarded carrierbag with an empty six-pack of “Monster” cans nearby.

I’m certain that BCC members are not responsible. But there’s an awful lot of litter around the trails we use. A Mule-bar wrapper here, a Powerade bottle there. Everybody drops litter. Sometimes accidentally. Even I’ve been known to stuff a wrapper in my pocket only to find it’s not there by the end of the ride. I had to punish myself quite severely for that one.

So, it’s a big forest, but if we approach it methodically, I reckon we can put a substantial dent in the litter levels out there. I suggest a Bike Ride/Litter Patrol one evening, which will combine a leisurely ride with litter collection along the way. It should only take an hour or two if there’s enough of us. We’ll set off for a section of the forest in pairs, each with an empty rucksack, lined with a bin-liner. One rider fills the others person’s rucksack so he/she doesn’t have to keep taking it off or putting it on. Simple as.

I realise collecting other people’s litter is an unpleasant chore, but as well as giving you that inner glow of being really useful, there will be the added incentive of free drinks/cakes for all do-gooders supplied from Mr Denham’s van. I have also hidden a £50 note in an empty Quavers packet somewhere in the forest. And if nothing else it’s a gesture of goodwill to the Longleat estate, proving that we genuinely care about the forest we ride in.

A show of hands, first, please, to see who’s willing to help out. So as not to intrude on the Tuesday Nightrides, I suggest a Thursday evening and maybe starting earlier than 7pm? Possibly even THIS Thursday (21st Apr) to make the most of the good weather?

Who’s with me?

Comments (11)

  1. Steve Corner

    I will be there as long as we start no earlier than 7:00. Will we start in Longleat rather than ride out from the Horse & Groom?

  2. Gareth Simpson

    I would but I’m away this Thursday and the next!

    Any thursdays next month and I’ll be there.

  3. Gareth Simpson

    Are there any bins in the forest?

  4. Chas Thursfield (Post author)

    Yep – was thinking at meeting at Nockatt Coppice carpark (Heaven’s Gate) which is more central than the H&G.

    Might be a few bins near Shear Water, but can’t recall. I’ll borrow my Works van for the evening and take all the bin bags we fill to the tip.

  5. Ryan Mckee (Post author)

    I would happily help, but i have work on Thursday evenings! however i might go on Wednesday and clean up doodles as i have seen a lot of litter on my way round.

  6. Chas Thursfield (Post author)

    Thanks, Ryan. Doodles is particularly bad. It might take two of you?

  7. Ryan Mckee (Post author)

    ahhh okay, i will have a think!
    p.s.if you did it on any other evening i would be able to help.

  8. Andrew Denham (Post author)

    Well I’ll need to double check but reckon I’m good for Thursday night and will have my van.

    We won’t be installing bins at the allotment, and there are very few (if any) bins around the forest as unfortunately they tend to cause more problems than they solve when so remote.

    We’ll be able to provide gloves, bags, van (for taking it all away) and some drinks and cakes too 🙂

  9. Ben Irons (Post author)

    I’ll hopefully be there

    Excellent idea, we could almost make it a competition to see which pair gets the most rubbish and maybe most interesting? (could get quite interesting) We could have a weigh in and win some soap?

  10. Andrew Grace (Post author)

    I’ll see if I can get a pass from the boss. Nice article Chas, made me chuckle ;-)~

  11. Ben Lovell

    I would be up for helping!

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